State Street Global Advisors expands Fearless Girl campaign to Asia
Gender diversity voting guidelines expanded to Hong Kong and Singapore, with the companies listed on the Straits Times and Hang Seng indices being impacted
Beginning this month, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) will be expanding its gender diversity voting guidelines to Hong Kong and Singapore, with the companies listed on the Straits Times and Hang Seng indices being impacted. This voting guideline was introduced in the US, UK and Australia in 2017, and extended to continental Europe, Canada and Japan in 2018.
SSGA, the asset management business of State Street Corporation, celebrated the third anniversary on March 6 of the launch of the Fearless Girl campaign, which began with the introduction of a now iconic symbol of gender diversity in leadership on the eve of International Women’s Day 2017.
Since the arrival of Fearless Girl on Wall Street three years ago, 681 publicly-traded companies with previously no women on their boards that the firm called on and engaged with have added at least one female board member.
“Expanding to Hong Kong and Singapore is the next step in the Fearless Girl campaign’s global journey,” says Rakhi Kumar, chief strategist for ESG and Asset Stewardship at State Street Global Advisors. “Additionally, moving beyond the committee chairs with our voting action reflects the fact that while many companies have been responsive, there is still work to be done.”
SSGA will also vote against the entire nominating and governance committee, not just the chair, in its target markets if concerns exist about the lack of gender diversity for four consecutive years and the companies are unable to engage in productive dialogue.
The firm is marking the occasion with the installation of a “living wall” at the Fearless Girl statue at the New York Stock Exchange, which became her new home on December 10, 2018, when she was moved from her original post at Bowling Green. The “living wall” behind Fearless Girl symbolizes the importance of continuing to grow the number of women in senior leadership.
The “living wall” forms a frame of flowers and greenery behind the Fearless Girl statue. The number of companies that appointed women to once all-male corporate boards globally since the campaign’s inception, 681, is prominently embedded into the wall for everyone to see the progress she’s inspired.
State Street Global Advisors also announced March 6 the latest impact numbers from the Fearless Girl campaign and they show that companies continue to answer the call.
As of February, 681 of companies out of the 1,384 identified by State Street Global Advisors responded by adding a female director. In the US, 495 of boards of directors added a female member, while 33 and 13 made this change in Canada and the UK, respectively. In Japan, 101 boards added a female director and 30 added a female director in Australia.
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